Hyundai Santa Fe Reliability (Best & Worst Years)

The Santa Fe is a small to mid-size SUV that is one of the most popular vehicles in America. It is also one of the safest family cars in this country. The Santa Fe has a very good warranty and most Santa Fe SUVs do not have major problems. It has plenty of room for a comfortable ride for the whole family.

The Hyundai Santa Fe lasts for 200,000-250,000 miles with the proper maintenance as recommended by Hyundai. This means that Santa Fe should last up to these miles on the odometer without needing any expensive repairs. This is about 13-17 years if you drive the average miles annually. Some Santa Fe vehicles may not last as long as others, and some Santa Fe vehicles last even longer than the average.

We will tell you what we found about the problems that Santa Fe has had. This information can help you if you are considering buying a new or used Hyundai Santa Fe. Many Hyundai vehicles have been sold in America.

Santa Fe Reliability Scores

The Santa Fe has rated #2 out of 26 crossover models according to Repair Pal. Most models of the Santa Fe have not had major problems or recalls. Reliability ratings depend on many things about the particular vehicle.

Some of these are how often the vehicle needs to be in the shop and the cost of repairs. Everyone wants a vehicle that starts when they want it to and takes us to our destination without problems. Here is a chart with information on Santa Fe’s reliability.

                                             Santa Fe Reliability Scores on Santa Fe Model

                        2001 Model                                4.3/5.0
                        2005 Model                                3.9/5.0
                        2008 Model                                4.0/5.0
                        2015 Model                                4.0/5.0
                        2018 Model                                4.5/5.0
                        2022 Model                                4.5/5.0

As you can see from the above chart, Santa Fe is considered to be reliable, especially in the more recent models.

Worst Santa Fe Years

2013 Santa Fe – This Santa Fe had engine problems when it had less than 100,000 miles on it. The cost of a new engine is around $3,600. Engine failure could occur at any time in this model, depending on how well it was taken care of. There were no recalls during 2013.

2017 Santa Fe – The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe has had 6 recalls. Some of these were related to the engine such as oil leaks to engine failure when the SUV was only a few years old. In February 2022, 341,285 Santa Fe vehicles were recalled for a short circuit in the ABS. Transmission issues were also common, as well as loss of power during driving in Santa Fe vehicles with very low mileage.

Best Santa Fe Years

2018 Santa Fe – This was a very good year for Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs. This Santa Fe was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety award and there were only 2 recalls. This model did have its problems which included engine problems such as unintended accelerations and stalling while driving. Steering problems were also reported while driving over 60 mph which resulted in difficulty steering.

2019 Santa Fe – This model was also awarded a Top Safety Pick Award and there was only 1 recall. It is fuel-efficient with 22 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. Some of the problems that this model had were engine issues like stalling while driving or the need to manually restart the SUV at stops. These problems happened early with some vehicles having only having 7,800 on them.

The 2018 and 2019 Santa Fe models were 2 of the best. They are a good choice if you are looking for a used Santa Fe, especially if the seller has proof that the issues were repaired or parts were replaced.

Santa Fe Versus Other Cars in Its Class

The Santa Fe is comparable to Jeep Wrangler, Mazda CX-30, Land Rover Defender, and Mitsubishi Outlander. We will discuss some pros and cons of each of these 2022-2023 Models.

Jeep Wrangler – The Jeep Wrangler has many features that owners enjoy. One of them is the interior. It has a leather-covered steering wheel, temperature control system, and power windows. It also has an infotainment system and a great sound system and satellite navigation. There is plenty of room in the 4-door model and enough storage for many suitcases.

The Jeep Wrangler has a 4-cylinder turbocharged plug-in hybrid engine. It is powerful and can go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 6 seconds. The starting price is $31,590.

Mazda CX-30 – The Mazda CX–30 has great interior features that people like such as heated seats and leather upholstery. It also has an infotainment system and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The back seats fold down and there is a lot of room for transporting luggage or other items. It has a powerful engine and stylish exterior design. The Mazda CX-30 starting price is only $23,725.

Land Rover Defender – This vehicle has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and all versions have all-wheel drive. It has lower gas mileage than the other vehicles in this category, but it is large and roomy. It is built with safety features like lane-departure warnings and automatic emergency braking. The Land Rover Defender also has an infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen. Starting prices for the Defender are $54,975.

Mitsubishi Outlander – The Mitsubishi Outlander is also comparable to the Hyundai Santa Fe. The 4-wheel drive gets about 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. It is available with a safety kit that includes forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and lane-keeping assistance plus other features. The price starts at $27,290.

The chart below shows how many miles each car lasts when compared with Santa Fe.

  Car Make & Model  How Many Miles Does It Last?
Santa Fe Vs. Jeep Wrangler                                     Santa Fe-200,000-250,000 mi.   Jeep Wrangler-200,000 mi.
Santa Fe Vs. Mazda CX-30Santa Fe-200,000-250,000 mi.  Mazda CX-30-200,000-250,000 mi.
Santa Fe Vs. Land Rover DefenderSanta Fe-200,000-250,000 mi.  Defender- 150,000-200,000 mi.
Santa Fe Vs. Mitsubishi OutlanderSanta Fe-200,000-250,000 mi.  Outlander-200,000-250,000 mi.

The maintenance cost for any vehicle usually goes up as the vehicle ages. Santa Fe is like other vehicles, so the cost of service per year increases as the SUV gets older. This chart explains yearly costs:

Santa Fe’s Maintenance Cost

                        Age of Vehicle                             Yearly Costs
                                  1 year                                   $280
                                  3 years                                   $401
                                  5 years                                   $618
                                  7 years                                   $1,089
                                  9 years                                   $1,330
                                12 years                                   $1,711
                                                 Santa Fe Maintenance Cost as Vehicle Ages

How long the components last in a Hyundai Santa Fe depend a lot on how you drive your vehicle. It also depends on whether you met all of the maintenance requirements for your vehicle. Here is some information on how long the brakes, tires, and transmission are expected to last on the Santa Fe:

How Long Do the Hyundai Components Last

Brakes last 30,000-70,000 mi.Tires last about 3 yearsTransmission lasts for 15 yrs.
Cost of new brakes-$534One tire-$300-$500Transmission replacement-$4,000-$7,000
Brake pads-$340Set of 4 tires-$1,200-$2,000New clutch-$500-$1,500

Do Hyundai Santa Fe Rust Quickly?

Most Santa Fe models do not rust quickly. Rust has been spotted in vehicles that are 7 years old or older. Frame rust problems on the underside of the vehicle have been reported in early models of the Santa Fe. One 2003 owner had less than 150,000 miles on the vehicle that was rusted through on the underside.

Newer models of the Santa Fe have also reported rusting through on the underside of their vehicle. Most of this rusting was in 2001 through 2004 vehicles. Some of the vehicles had been parked in a garage and had been properly maintained. The most common complaint out of 124 complaints was about frame rust.

Santa Fe vehicles from the early 2000s were usually not covered by warranties, so if there is rusting on the sub-frame, it is a problem that the owner must pay to have repaired.

It costs about $800 and up to have a Santa Fe repaired for rust problems.

Most Common Hyundai Santa Fe Problems

Every vehicle has some small problems and some expensive problems. The Santa Fe has also had some problems which will be discussed below, along with symptoms of these problems and their solutions.

Engine Problems

The most common problem with the Santa Fe reported by Car Problem Zoo was engine problems. Models made in 2018-2020 had more issues than any other year. Here is a list of symptoms that they had with their Santa Fe vehicles:

  • Check Engine light comes on
  • Excessive Oil Consumption
  • Engine stalls while driving
  • Knocking noise from the engine
  • Car accelerates without the driver touching the accelerator

Hyundai found that the problem was due to problems related to the crankshaft which caused engine bearing issues. There have been recalls for 2012 and 2017 Santa Fe models.

The cost for a new Santa Fe engine is about $3,292. There is no charge for repair or replacement if you have received a recall for your Santa Fe.

Faulty Fuel Gauge

Most faulty fuel gauge problems have been in Santa Fe models from 2006 to 2009. The Check Engine light also turns on frequently.

The fuel level sensor was discovered to be the problem in vehicles with around 90,000 miles. It costs about $550 to replace the fuel level sensor.

Windshield Cracking

A small crack in your windshield can spread and cause the entire windshield to break. This has happened to Santa Fe vehicle models.

The only way to solve the problem is to replace the windshield. Some car insurance companies will pay for the windshield replacement. The cost to replace a windshield in a Santa Fe is around $330.

Overheating Wireless Phone Charger

Santa Fe owners with more recent models of the Santa Fe have had their vehicle’s phone charger overheating. They say that it gets so hot that their phone shuts down to protect the phone from damage.

Hyundai has stated that Santa Fe owners are having a “normal” problem and should take the phone off the charger if it gets overly hot.

Service Brakes Issues

This has been a problem for Santa Fe vehicles in 2015 to 2020 models with 2017 having the most issues. A faulty Antilock Brake System (ABS) caused the problem. There is also the chance of a fire occurring, and some owners did have this happen.

Hyundai recalled 2016 to 2019 vehicles to have this problem fixed by replacing the ABS. A new ABS cost about $614 to replace in a Santa Fe.

Rain Pooling on Windshields

This problem involves 2018 and newer models that have reduced visibility during a rainstorm. This occurs because the left windshield wiper does not completely clear off the windshield and rain may accumulate on the windshield.

It could be almost impossible to see well during a heavy rainstorm. This problem does not affect all model years from 2018 forward, and Hyundai says that there is nothing to do about it.

Recent Recalls

22V746000 – This recall was related to the windshield in 2020-2021 Santa Fe vehicles. Windshields may not have been properly attached to the vehicle. The windshield may come loose and detach during a crash.

Hyundai dealers will remove and reinstall the windshield free of charge.

22V197000 – Hyundai is recalling some 2022 vehicles in which the oil supply pipe to the turbocharger might crack. An oil leak in the engine then may occur. The risk of fire is increased when the engine is hot.

Hyundai will replace the oil supply pipe to the turbocharger free of charge.

22V056000 – Hyundai has recalled some 2017-2019 Santa Fe vehicles due to problems with the Antilock Brake System (ABS). It could malfunction and cause an electrical short which increases fire risks. This could happen if the vehicle was parked or driving.

Hyundai will replace the ABS multi-fuse free of charge. Owners are advised to park away from buildings until the problem is repaired.

Santa Fe owners do not need to pay the fees to fix or replace the part that was recalled by Hyundai. Defunct parts or manufacturing errors are the responsibility of Hyundai.